What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things, or more commonly referred to IoT, is the interconnection of everyday things via the internet so that they can send and receive data.
Are The Instruments "Smart"?
There are, in general, two types of IoT instruments: those with integrated connectivity (smart instruments) and those that connect to a smart hub (normal instruments). Our system is of the latter type which gives great flexibility in the type of instrument that can be connected. Smart Instruments normally are self-contained and communicate directly with the Internet. They are relatively expensive and you pay for the data connection for each instrument. Our system pools together the Internet Connectivity and also removes the "Smart" requirement from the instruments. This approach is generally more cost-effective in terms of capital costs and data costs.
Where Does My Data Go?
The data from your instruments is sent over the internet to a processing database in AWS (Amazon Cloud). From there, depending on the hosting choice you make, we either send you your data via API (Application Programming Interface) or display it for you in a secure web application. If you choose the API route, the data is delivered to your infrastructure/ applications so that it can be integrated/ processed/ displayed there.
Can Anyone See/ Interfere With My Data?
No! Each connection between AWS and our RailTel hub in the field is secured by an individual Security Certificate. This enables the connection to happen over SSL (an encrypted connection) so the data cannot be intercepted/ interfered with between the field and database. Our Web Application only allows authorised access: each individual user has a unique Username/ Password to access the application. Once you login, you can see your data (and your data only: you can't see anyone else's data and they can't see yours).
What Do I Need For A New Installation?
Currently, we can provide off-the-shelf measurement for:
- Wireless Temperature
- Weather Station (ambient temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind speed/ direction, humidity, precipitation)
- Groundwater Level (river/ lake/ stream/ flood plain etc.)
- Terrain Stability (embankment movement etc.)
On the hardware side, we will supply the instrumentation, the RailTel hub including integrated AnyNet Secure™ SIM, solar panels + mounting poles/ brackets (if required). On the software side, we provide the AWS connectivity and the Web Application: you don't need to provide anything in terms of IT hardware/ software/ licenses.
What Is Your Pricing Model?
In general, there are two components to our pricing: the Capital cost of the initial purchase and an ongoing connectivity/ hosting fee. After the initial set-up, you will be charged, generally on an annual basis, a data fee (as low as €1.00 per month depending on the amount of data being sent) and an annual hosting fee.
Can Other Instruments Be Connected To The RailTel Hub?
Each RailTel hub can handle 3 ZigBee wireless temperature sensors and 2 RS485 protocol instruments. In addition, it can supply instrument power to 2 instruments directly from the board. The RS485 protocol for your instrument will need to be matched by a software change in our configuration but can be done. The best approach is to get in contact with us and send a datasheet.